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06/22/2022
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The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center has its latest leader. Ukrainian cyber officials warn of Fancy Bear. And a former DOD voice weighs in on cyber operations authorities. This is CyberScoop for June 22.

Former Mandiant exec to helm intelligence community's cyber center

Laura Galante, who ran global intelligence at Mandiant until 2012, has been selected as the director of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to her LinkedIn page and company website. Galante left Mandiant in 2012 to launch her own firm and has done cybersecurity work for the Ukrainian government, among other entities, since then. Galante is the third person to run the center since it was established in 2015. Her predecessors were both career FBI agents. Suzanne Smalley had it first.


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Ukrainians disclose two new Russian cyberattacks this week

Ukrainian cybersecurity officials this week unveiled two of the latest cyberattacks on targets there, attributing one to the prolific APT28 Russian military intelligence hacking unit and another to a hacking group with potential ties to the Russian cybercrime world. APT28 — also known as Fancy Bear — went after unnamed targets using a malicious text document that discussed the possibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin using nuclear weapons on Ukraine. The other attack, which Ukraine's CERT-UA attributed to a group known as UAC-0098, was embedded within a malicious Microsoft Word document discussing tax issues and made to look like it was coming from the national tax agency. That campaign targeted unspecified Ukrainian critical infrastructure, officials said. AJ Vicens has more.


Former senior defense official signals support for White House decision on DOD cyber ops authorities

Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of Defense for policy, said Tuesday that she believes any U.S. government cyber operation inside the U.S. should be dictated by leaders from agencies beyond just DOD in order to "make sure we have the right policy and legal guardrails in place to not violate our own values or laws." Flournoy's remarks at a Third Way event came in response to a question about the recent revisions to a presidential national security policy memorandum known as NSPM-13. Recently retired House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said he believed that the Trump administration's decision to use NSPM-13 to "devolve some of the authority for making cyber decisions down to the military" was a "tremendous success," and that "if you have every sort of decision go up to the NSC and they debate the loss, the risk and all of this stuff, you will never move at the appropriate speed." Flournoy said she believes cyber officials should work more closely across agencies in a task force similar to those which have formed to address drug trafficking and terrorism.  "We need something like that in cyber where we're getting out of these silos, put it all together, have people working shoulder by shoulder, day in and day out, and building the trust and building operational concepts to move at the speed we need to move," Flournoy said. Clarified, 6/24/22: to include an emphasis on the U.S. government and U.S. operations in the first sentence. Check out the video.


Biden signs cyber bill aimed at state and local coordination

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a pair of cybersecurity bills into law, including one designed to strengthen coordination between the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and state and local governments. The State and Local Government Cybersecurity Act requires CISA to make sure that the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, the federal government’s primary cyberthreat-analysis entity, shares more of its security tools, policies, training procedures and relevant intelligence products with states, municipalities, territories and tribal governments. Biden on Tuesday also signed the Federal Rotational Cyber Workforce Program Act, creating a program for government cybersecurity professionals to cycle through different agencies to build up experience beyond their primary employer. StateScoop's Benjamin Freed reports.


Legislation calls for new joint information ops course for US troops

The House Armed Services Committee wants the Pentagon to provide members of the U.S. military a new course to better prepare them to conduct information operations. The chairman’s mark of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, released this week, includes a provision directing the secretary of defense to establish such a course for planning and conducting information operations in a joint environment. This course must include: standard qualifications and procedures to enable joint and synchronized employment of information-related capabilities in the information environment; joint methods to implement information ops in a battlefield environment under ground force chain of command and a curriculum covering applicable assets; core operations concepts; and integration of effects with a focus on information-related effects. Read Mark Pomerleau's story at FedScoop.


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